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Emergency Shelters: The Latest Architecture and News

This Stackable Emergency Shelter Can Be Assembled in Under 15 Minutes

06:00 - 10 April, 2018

MADWORKSHOP Fellows Jeremy Carman and Jayson Champlain have designed a unique approach to emergency post-disaster shelters. The 2017 Fellows of the MADWORKSHOP Foundation created "Shelter Squared" as a response to "the current scarcity of design-oriented solutions to emergencies."

Overall, the design utilizes cost-effective, recyclable materials to provide a meaningful alternative to the current standard of post-disaster shelters, described the architects. 

Living Capsule Offers Shelter From Disasters

12:00 - 18 December, 2016

Costa Rican architect César Oreamuno has designed a modular capsule that accommodates to the basic needs of a community after a state of emergency or disaster. The units are adaptable and easily assembled in order to account for a variety of situations and respond to a series of unique functions, although the main theme of the project is focused on improving the quality of attention towards the basic needs of crisis victims, as well as encouraging the development of the community.

Courtesy of César Oreamuno Courtesy of César Oreamuno Planta de Distribución Dormitorio Corte Perspectiva Dormitorio + 22

Yale Students Propose a Series of Pop-Up Religious Buildings to Sustain Culture in Refugee Camps

09:30 - 10 June, 2016
Yale Students Propose a Series of Pop-Up Religious Buildings to Sustain Culture in Refugee Camps, Courtesy of Lucas Boyd and Chad Greenlee
Courtesy of Lucas Boyd and Chad Greenlee

The theme for this year’s Venice Biennale is largely an invitation for architects and designers to expand and think beyond architecture’s traditional frontiers and to respond to a wider range of challenges relating to human settlement. With news of political crises continuing to fill the headlines of late, Aravena’s theme challenges architects to respond. One such response comes from Lucas Boyd and Chad Greenlee from the Yale School of Architecture. They believe that:

While [places of worship] do not provide a basic need for an individual’s biological survival, they do represent a fundamental aspect of not only an individual’s life beyond utility, but an identity within the collective, a familiar place of being—and this is something that we consider synonymous with being human—a requirement for the persistence of culture.

The two students came up with proposal designs on churches, synagogues and mosques that can be quickly built as “Pop-Up Places of Worship” in refugee camps. By presenting immediately-recognizable sacred spaces that are transportable and affordable, Boyd and Greenlee highlight spaces for worship as an absolute necessity in any type of human settlement. Through this process, the students also determine what, for them, is “necessary” in a religious structure.

Courtesy of Lucas Boyd and Chad Greenlee Courtesy of Lucas Boyd and Chad Greenlee Courtesy of Lucas Boyd and Chad Greenlee Courtesy of Lucas Boyd and Chad Greenlee + 16

Abeer Seikaly’s Structural Fabric Shelters Weave Refugees’ Lives Back Together

09:30 - 19 December, 2015
Abeer Seikaly’s Structural Fabric Shelters Weave Refugees’ Lives Back Together, Courtesy of Abeer Seikaly
Courtesy of Abeer Seikaly

Whether from political unrest or natural disaster, refugee crises around the world seem to fill the headlines of late. These events inspired interdisciplinary designer Abeer Seikaly’s conceptual emergency shelter, entitled “Weaving A Home,” which received a Lexus Design Award in 2013. The collapsible structural fabric shelter can adapt to various climates, while also providing the comforts of contemporary life such as heat, running water, and electricity.

Courtesy of Abeer Seikaly Courtesy of Abeer Seikaly Courtesy of Abeer Seikaly Courtesy of Abeer Seikaly + 14

Barberio Colella ARC Designs Pop-Up Home to Rebuild Nepalese Lives in "Just a Minute"

09:30 - 25 October, 2015
Barberio Colella ARC Designs Pop-Up Home to Rebuild Nepalese Lives in "Just a Minute", Courtesy of Barberio Colella ARC
Courtesy of Barberio Colella ARC

Disaster can strike a community at any minute. Following the most costly earthquake in their history in April, hundreds of thousands of Nepalese residents were rendered instantly homeless. To help these people reorganize and get back to a familiar way of life, Barberio Colella ARC has designed a temporary structure using local materials “to make a house that can be built quickly, lightweight and compactly, durably and economically.”

Courtesy of Barberio Colella ARC Deployment System. Image Courtesy of Barberio Colella ARC Courtesy of Barberio Colella ARC Components. Image Courtesy of Barberio Colella ARC + 8

Timelapse: How to Build an Emergency Shelter with Scaffolding and Local Materials

12:00 - 1 August, 2015

Designed and developed by Pilosio Building Peace, RE:BUILD is a construction system for building refugee camps and facilities for emergency assistance. The temporary modular structures can be used as houses, schools, clinics, dining areas or any other space that is urgently needed.

The system, which is easy and fast to assemble, combines scaffolding with natural materials that are easy to find, such as gravel, sand or earth, providing thermal insulation. Containers to channel and reuse rainwater are also incorporated. Watch the timelapse video above to see RE:BUILD in action and learn more about how it was used to build schools for refugee children in Jordan here.

Shigeru Ban's Nepalese Emergency Shelters to be Built from Rubble

16:10 - 29 July, 2015
© VAN, courtesy of Shigeru Ban Architects
© VAN, courtesy of Shigeru Ban Architects

Shigeru Ban Architects has released images of their first emergency shelter prototype designed for Nepal. Planned to be built by the end of August, the simple shelter is designed to be easily assembled by almost anyone. Using connecting modular wooden frames (3ft x 7ft or 90cm x 210cm), salvaged rubble bricks are used to infill the wall's cavities while paper tube trussing supports the roof. This, as Shigeru Ban says, will allow for "quick erection and nearly immediate inhabitation."

Margot Krasojevic Turns Snow Cave Shelters into Practical, Impossible Art

09:30 - 7 June, 2015
Margot Krasojevic Turns Snow Cave Shelters into Practical, Impossible Art, © Margot Krasojevic
© Margot Krasojevic

The question "what is the point of all this?" has dogged architecture for as long as anyone cares to look, but since the millenniumthe purely theoretical yet theoretically possible designs of Margot Krasojevic have taken this question as a challenge. Her latest proposal, a mesh shelter that takes the concept of snow caves and applies it to an artificial structure, is built for an eminently practical purpose: a built emergency shelter for climbers and others caught in extreme conditions. Yet the elaborate, high tech and naturally contoured structure is as much a thought experiment as it is a serious architectural proposal.

© Margot Krasojevic © Margot Krasojevic © Margot Krasojevic © Margot Krasojevic + 24

TEDxTokyo: Emergency Shelters Made from Paper / Shigeru Ban

00:00 - 14 August, 2013

Disappointed that most architecture is built for the privileged, rather than society, Shigeru Ban has dedicated much of his career to building affordable, livable and safe emergency shelters for post-disaster areas. As described by TED:

Long before sustainability became a buzzword, architect Shigeru Ban had begun his experiments with ecologically-sound building materials such as cardboard tubes and paper. His remarkable structures are often intended as temporary housing, designed to help the dispossessed in disaster-struck nations such as Haiti, Rwanda, or Japan. Yet equally often the buildings remain a beloved part of the landscape long after they have served their intended purpose.